Lawrenson tips Arsenal to suffer surprising defeat

Arsenal boss Unai Emery will suffer his third defeat in five matches this weekend when the Gunners travel to face Newcastle United, according to BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson.

The North London outfit lost their opening two Premier League matches against Manchester City and Chelsea but bounced back prior to the international break with victories against West Ham and Cardiff City.

Emery will be looking to extend that run to three matches but his side are still yet to fully find their feet and will struggle to break down an organised Newcastle outfit, who Lawrenson has predicted will secure a 2-1 win.

“Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has had some stick for the way he has been setting his teams up so defensively, although the Magpies fans are still very much on his side,” he told BBC Sport.

“Saturday will be no different – you know his focus will be as much on stopping Arsenal as it is on how his own team get forward.

“I just have a feeling it might work this time. Arsenal’s players are not the only ones who have been away on international duty of course, but this might be a good time for Newcastle to play them.

“Benitez’s side beat the Gunners at St James’ Park last season, to effectively ensure they stayed up, and I am going to go for the same result.”

Newcastle do not score often but Arsenal’s defence continues to be extremely frail, with the Gunners keeping just two clean sheets in their last 11 Premier League matches – both of which came last season against Burnley and Huddersfield.

However, predicting Newcastle to score twice is a bold call as the Magpies, yet to win this season, have not managed to score more than one goal in a game so far this season – and have only managed to once in their last nine league games, coming in a victory over Chelsea on the final day of last term.